Support of context-based, student-centered learning

Support of context-based, student-centered learning
Course Outline Template
Please see the attached document
Aspects of the Course
Community health nursing involves a holistic approach to patient care whereby interventions are aimed at promoting the health of individuals, families, and groups. Over the eight weeks period, students will learn to appreciate the role of nurses at the community level and how their actions help in promoting health. First, the course provides a platform for students to understand health promotion and how nurses can work outside the hospital environment. The students will have an opportunity to identify different health problems and how health education practices can help in maintaining the well-being of individuals. As the students complete the course, they will be able to appreciate the roles of community health nurses and how their actions and decisions influence the health of populations.

The community health nursing course emphasizes different concepts that students must learn to be effectively-prepared as community health nurses. The course begins by providing a foundation for students by describing the various roles of community health nurses. Upon understanding of these roles, students will be able to develop plans to improve the health of populations. Secondly, an emphasis on social determinants of health is put to help students understand why maintaining health is critical and barriers behind healthcare access in the community. The course provides an overview of common communicable diseases in the community and how nurses can be crucial in making community diagnoses to promote health. Lastly, the course emphasizes collaborative practice between community members, healthcare providers, and the local government.

Nursing is a caring-based practice that utilizes the processes of diagnosis and treatment to improve on human experiences of health and illness. The American Nurses Association explains that nurses focus on issues related to preventive health, environmental health, and health concerns of individuals and populations (Horntvedt et al., 2018). The community health nursing course is relevant to professional nursing practice because it addresses the health concerns of communities including vulnerable populations. The course also demonstrates actions geared towards health promotion and disease prevention by utilizing the nursing process. For example, students will actively engage in formulating community diagnosis by conducting a windshield survey.

Cultivation of Course

Community health nurses possess strong clinical and critical thinking skills to solve problems and make decisions that impact population health. The community health nursing course introduces students to community health and emphasizes on the application of community health concepts to manage an illness. All the eight weekly topics focus on health promotion and disease prevention which are important aspects of community health. Each week, students will learn different areas of community health to ensure understanding and promote reflective practice. The topics are also organized from the simplest to the most complex to allow students to connect ideas for easy understanding. Additionally, the course topics will provide a platform for both theory and practical nursing to engage students and promote active learning.

Student-Centered Learning

Student-centered learning encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student to enhance active learning (Bastable et al., 2017). The approach puts the student’s interests first and acknowledges the voice of students as central to learning. Student-centered learning is based on the Constructivist learning theory that emphasizes the student’s critical role in constructing meaning from new information and prior experience (Keiler, 2018). The key concepts of the course engage students in both theory and practical environments to promote understanding and give students control of the learning process. The students will be allowed to choose communities for their practical learning and conduct surveys and school health programs. Additionally, there is the involvement of innovative learning strategies including flipped classrooms, case study, jigsaw, and group discussions to make students active participants during the learning process.

Professional Standards and Guidelines

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice provides an important framework for designing and assessing baccalaureate education programs for professional nursing practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing(AACN), 2008). The eight weekly key concepts of the course align with the AACN competencies in different ways. Liberal education for baccalaureate generalist nursing practice is recommended by AACN whereby a solid base is laid for the practice and education of nurses. Week one of the course aims at providing students with knowledge about the background of community health nursing and the role of CHNs in promoting health. During week two, the students will be able to conduct a community assessment and plan for appropriate interventions. This concept aligns with the AACN essential VII that calls upon for clinical prevention and population health.

Week three and week four concepts of the course focus on determinants of health and the impact of the disease on the community. The students will be able to utilize evidence-based strategies to manage illnesses and promote health at the community level. These key concepts align with AACN essential III which deals with a scholarship for evidence-based practice. Interprofessional communication and collaboration for the improvement of patient health outcomes is a requirement for all baccalaureate nurses (AACN, 2008). The course promotes collaborative practice with the local communities, government, and healthcare providers. Week seven and week eight key concepts focus on assessing environmental hazards and taking appropriate action through demonstration of nursing leadership. These concepts are in line with professional and professional values emphasized by AACN.

Alignment of Weekly Key Concepts to Overview

The community health nursing course provides a platform to study and understand concepts of community health by utilizing nursing theory and the science of public health. The course functions to provide an opportunity for learners to develop skills in community health by focusing on population health, culture, family dynamics, health promotion, disease prevention, and interprofessional collaboration. The key concepts emphasized align with the above overview because they stress on the assessment of community needs, the burden of diseases in the community, focused population health problems, vulnerable groups in the community, and how interprofessional collaboration can help solve the identified issues. The course overview also identifies the role of baccalaureate essentials for nursing practice in today’s changing and demanding healthcare environment. Various concepts especially during week one, week three, week five, and week six demonstrate a close link with the AACN essentials as outlined in the course overview.

Week one of the course emphasizes the various roles of community health nurses which are duly explained to be health promotion, disease prevention, and interprofessional collaboration. Week two of the course will deal with community assessment and plan for interventions. The course outline aligns with this concept whereby learners will develop skills to assess the health of individuals, families, and populations. In week three, the learners will promote health by analyzing the determinants of health. This concept of health promotion is identified in the course outline as one of the focus areas for the students. In week four, the learners will demonstrate knowledge on disease prevention as outlined in the course outline by focusing on communicable diseases and their management.

Week five of the course deals with vulnerable populations where students will identify common challenges and health promotion strategies for the special populations. This concept aligns with the baccalaureate essential of clinical prevention and population health. Week six requires the students to demonstrate interprofessional collaboration while promoting health in the community. Collaborative practice is emphasized in the course outline and it is among the core competencies required for baccalaureate nurses. In week seven, the students will assess problems within a community and their significance to the public. This concept is part of the skills to be gained by students upon completion of the course as addressed in the course outline. Week eight of the course focuses on disaster management and the role of nursing leadership in disaster preparedness. This concept aligns with the course outline on the area of systems leadership for nurses which is part of the essentials for baccalaureate education for nursing.

Course Outline Relevance

A course outline is a tool for nurse educators and other instructors used to organize course material before teaching. The tool is important because it allows for planned teaching as it prevents instructors from going outside the course topics. The course outline enables the instructor to understand areas that should be emphasized during teaching and the various strategies that can be used to improve student-centered learning (Bastable et al., 2017). Effective learning occurs when students can relate previous information with new knowledge. The course outline enables the instructor to organize topics in a manner that students can relate to. Additionally, it provides a platform to plan for the use of different learning strategies. Lastly, the course outline can serve as a professional evaluation tool for the instructors to determine aspects of planned and organized teaching for nurse educators.

Learning Strategies

Group discussions can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging methods of learning. Group discussions allow students to work together to learn the course content. This method breaks boredom and engages even those students who do not actively participate in class (Billings et al., 2016). The instructor has the chance to establish rapport with the students and can appreciate their contributions during the learning process. Learning is enhanced when the material to be learned is thought about deeply and also when related material is retrieved from memory and associated with the new material (Jones, 2014). Group discussions provide a solid ground for students who perform better when they discuss than when studying alone. The discussions help students to think more deeply and to articulate their ideas more clearly.

An interactive lecture is an easy way for instructors to intellectually engage and involve students as active participants in a lecture-based class of any size. When using this method, the instructor breaks the class at least once to allow the students to actively interact with the material. This technique allows all students to participate because it utilizes a variety of techniques such as role-playing, demonstrations, or think-pair-share strategies (Horntvedt et al., 2018). One of the advantages of this method is that it breaks lectures favoring individuals who cannot concentrate for long. The instructor makes pauses every 15 to 20 minutes to deploy a strategy that can allow the student to participate. It also gives students time to internalize what has been learned and to ask questions before moving forward.

Technology allows teachers to make the most of classroom time and foster student-driven learning. The flipped classroom learning method helps instructors to prioritize active learning by assigning students to lecture material and presentations to be viewed outside class (Billings et al., 2016). The students then come to class with prior knowledge of the material and can relate what is taught with the videos or presentations they viewed. This method allows students to discuss and analyze material for deeper understanding. Secondly, the method makes it easy for students to remember lectures by relating the course material with videos and presentations or recorded lectures (Smallhorn, 2017). The flipped classroom meets the diverse needs of the learners from those academically advanced to those with special needs. It is also an important method to motivate learners and can be effective in improving performance among students.

Implementation of Learning Strategies

The group discussion learning strategy is identified as the predominant style for learning during week one. The students will demonstrate their understanding of the course by focusing on the roles of community health nurses. To implement the strategy, I will set the objective of the discussions which will be to identify various roles of CHNs including health promotion and disease prevention roles. The students will be required to adhere to the rules of engagement where four members will be required in a group and every member should demonstrate active engagement. Upon discussion, the group leader will be allowed to present the points and comparisons made with findings from other groups. The students will then be allowed to give feedback on the discussions while pointing out common areas that were discussed in the groups.

Assessment of Learning Needs and Styles

Learning styles can be described as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic and different learning strategies utilize different learning styles. In group discussions, the predominant learning style is auditory learning which involves listening and taking down points. Students engage in discussions by sharing ideas and giving feedback to the instructor including asking questions.

Clinical Reasoning and Self-Reflection Skills

Classroom discussions can be important practices to improve clinical reasoning and self-reflection for students. This method allows students to learn from each other and promotes understanding of content (Jones, 2014). Consequently, the students can retain the lecture better and can use this knowledge to make informed choices during clinical practice. As the students discuss, they can realize different approaches to answering questions and can apply these approaches to think deeply and make connections. Group discussions can improve the student’s interests and engagement allowing for reflective practice. The discussions open up the mind of students and they can reflect what their peers discussed, how the discussion was approached, and areas for future improvement.

Learning Environments

Collaborative practice occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings (Reeves et al., 2017). Research suggests that interprofessional collaboration and teamwork improve coordination, communication, and the quality of care delivered to patients. To promote this practice, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that nurses should be educated with doctors and other healthcare teams both as students and later during professional nursing practice (Reeves et al., 2017). Collaborative practice and teamwork leverage the unique roles of partners to ensure appropriate assessment and identification of patient needs. Students can demonstrate collaborative practice and teamwork in different learning environments including online, face-to-face, and clinical environments.

The face-to-face learning environment which occurs mostly in class involves direct teaching of course material to students and mainly focuses on theory. Interprofessional collaboration can be demonstrated by organizing classes for both nursing students and those from other medical departments to discuss and solve problems together. During these interactions, the instructor deploys learning strategies like case study method or concept mapping to ensure students work in teams and to solve complex healthcare issues that affect the patients. The second learning environment is online learning which is soon taking over the traditional classroom method. To utilize this platform, the instructor can engage professional teams in discussion forums, question and answer sessions, and student interviews. Additionally, sharing of learning material, posting presentations, and sharing videos can improve student outcomes. The clinical learning environment is the best platform to engage students from multiple disciplines for collaborative practice and teamwork. The promotion of better outcomes can be achieved by organizing students in groups, providing case studies for discussion, and allowing collaborative practice during patient care. Practices like multidisciplinary rounding, attending CMEs, and debriefing sessions can greatly impact collaborative practice and teamwork in the clinical environment.

Nursing Student’s Experiences

Many factors influence student learning and subsequent professional development including culture, society, and life experiences. Culture includes what people believe and do include how they relate with others. It has a huge influence on communication, interaction, and sharing and this can affect how students learn (Billings et al., 2016). Some students might find it difficult to share during group discussions or work in teams during clinical practice due to cultural differences. Another aspect is the society where students come from which mostly affects the language of communication and social interaction. Some students may find it difficult to blend in with others due to their way of life and this can hinder other approaches to learning that involve teamwork. All human beings are vulnerable and bring with them both risks and protective factors that can affect learning. Past experiences can affect how students engage in class including active participation, sharing, and the ability to interact with others. Incorporation of different learning strategies can help the instructor in meeting the demands of all students during the learning process.

Learning Theories

Constructivism is a theory used by educators to help students learn and is based on the idea that people actively construct or make their own knowledge, and that reality is determined by your experiences as a learner (Nugroho, 2017). It is observed that individual experiences make learning unique with previous knowledge forming the foundation of new things in life. While teaching students, the theory helps instructors to understand that students bring their unique experiences to the classroom and their background and previous experiences greatly impact learning. This theory can be applied in the course development where the instructor involves multiple learning and teaching methods to meet the demands of all students (Nugroho, 2017). The instructor also develops the course with the aim of guiding learning and sharing authority with the students. Constructivism classes focus on questions and interests of students and this calls for an instructor who can relate well with students.


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Billings, D. M., Faan, E. R., & Halstead, J. A. (2019). Teaching in Nursing e-Book: A Guide for Faculty.  (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. ISBN: 978-0323290548

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Reeves, S., Pelone, F., Harrison, R., Goldman, J., & Zwarenstein, M. (2017). Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (6).

Smallhorn, M. (2017). The flipped classroom: A learning model to increase student engagement not academic achievement. Student Success, 8(2), 43-53.

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